Civil engineering students ‘Shake It Off’ in award-winning parody video

Grand-prize-winning video shows how engineers can safely design bridges and buildings

Civil engineering students ‘Shake It Off’ in award-winning parody video

Grand-prize-winning video shows how engineers can safely design bridges and buildings

University of Nevada, Reno civil engineering student Kristin Kramer is finding herself in the winner's circle a lot this year. As a project manager and member of the women's endurance team for the University's 2014 national champion concrete canoe team, she once again sees gold as she and fellow students were recently selected as the grand prize winners for the American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter Music Video Contest.

Winning 2014 ASCE Student Music Video

Video screen shot

Nevada ASCE Student Chapter
"Shake It Off"

"Kristin was the front woman in the video, but I have to say that this was really a team effort between younger members and the students to get this video done," Kelly Doyle, faculty advisor and program coordinator for the University's Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research, said. "We really wanted to showcase the resources we had on campus for this competition to increase awareness of our Earthquake Engineering Laboratory.  In addition, we really wanted to show how engineering can be fun and go beyond what most people may think about the profession." 

Executive Director for ASCE, Pat Natale, asked students to rewrite a popular song to be about civil engineering. Judges for the 32 video submissions included ASCE staff and high school students from ASCE's Civil Engineering Clubs in New York City, Philadelphia, Georgia, Kansas, Utah and Hawaii. 

"Your video was judged to be the best of dozens of videos entered in the Students Category," Natale said in a letter to the Nevada chapter. "Thank you for taking the time to showcase your team's talent and giving us such an entertaining video. My sincere congratulations. Job well done." 

The Earthquake Engineering Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno is known for testing large-scale structures on its four shake tables, and celebrated its grand opening last summer. This video is a parody of Taylor Swift's song "Shake It Off" that shows how engineers can safely design bridges and buildings to resist earthquake loading. 

"Our students have competed and, once more, they excelled in a national competition," College of Engineering Dean Manos Maragakis said. "This video is very motivational and inspirational, and I expect it to inspire more young students into engineering. It is also a clear indication of how well-rounded our students are. I am very proud of them." 

The grand prize to the University's chapter was $5,000. The video is also featured on ASCE's online and social media channels, and the chapter received a $100 VISA gift card to help with the video production costs. 

"We are extremely proud that ASCE selected our video as the winner and that the University of Nevada is represented as a face of civil engineering," Doyle said. 

Find out more about the competition by reading the ASCE's blog, or watch the winning video here.

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